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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Dad makes Link a girl for daughter

About The Author

CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

(Credit: Mike Hoye)

A father who wanted his daughter to feel represented in The Legend of Zelda patched the game so that Link is addressed as a girl.

Playing The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker with his three-and-a-half-year-old daughter Maya, Mike Hoye wanted her to put herself in the protagonist's shoes. As he narrated the game's text and dialogue for her, he would change the gender of our hero Link so that Maya could truly feel like the hero of the story.

Which was a bit, in his own words, "annoying and awkward" — so he sought a more novel solution.

He took a GameCube disk image and, using a hex editor, edited the entire text of the game line-by-line so that it referred to Link as a girl. It took a fair bit of fidgeting — each alternation had to be the same byte-for-byte length, so some creative editing was required — Stephen Donaldson's "Swordmain" in place of "Swordsman" and "milady" instead of "my lad".

But it's with this line that Hoye absolutely won our hearts:

I'm not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don't get to be the hero and rescue their little brothers.



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